News Brief

Researchers Link Miscarriage Risk to BPA Exposure

A new study adds evidence that bisphenol-A may affect human reproduction.

It is not just BPA in baby bottles expectant mothers should worry about. A new study finds BPA exposure might put women at greater risk for miscarriage.

Photo: Alicia Voorhies License: CC by 2.0
In a recent study conducted at a Stanford University fertility clinic, women with high levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in their blood had an 83% greater risk of miscarriage than women with the lowest levels. Although further research is needed to tell whether the correlation extends beyond those already at high risk for reproductive issues, the study’s authors say women suffering from recurrent miscarriages “would best be advised to reduce BPA exposure because it has the potential to adversely affect fetal development.”

The findings of the study, which was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, were based on blood tests administered to 115 women early in their pregnancies. The women were divided into four groups based on their BPA levels; the group with the highest levels had an 83% higher risk of miscarriage than the group with the lowest levels, and those in the second and third groups had an increased risk of 30% and 58%.

In a prepared statement, Kathryn St. John, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, argued that one or two blood-level readings are too few to draw conclusions because BPA levels can go up or down based on exposure. “This study has the same flaw as other studies that attempt to measure BPA in blood at a single point in time and statistically associate that limited data with a health effect—in this case, miscarriage.”

Although other studies have also suggested that BPA poses health risks as an endocrine disruptor (see Fears Grow with Polycarbonate Chemical Bisphenol-A), a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study released earlier this year found BPA did not affect the health of rats fed low doses—though that study was criticized because BPA was also discovered in rats that were in the control group.

Published June 1, 2014

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